Engage!16 Europe: A Stylish, World-Class Affair
No matter the location, Engage! always has an impressive lineup of speakers, inspired social experiences and signature small group dinners that foster lively discussions and friendships amongst the world’s top wedding industry professionals. Engage!16 Europe took place October 7-20 at the stunning Borgo Egnazia in Puglia, Italy, a venue that has attracted an A-list crowd from around the globe. The conference — produced by Rebecca Grinnals and Kathryn Arce of Engaging Concepts and in collaboration with UK-based James Lord and Melina Beckett — brought in 250 attendees from 26 different countries. Ahead, an overview of the la dolce vita lifestyle everyone experienced during their two wonderful weeks in Italy.
Host partner Borgo Egnazia welcomed attendees to its opulent venue, which was elegantly designed by Pino Brescia throughout the duration of the event. Overlooking the Adriatic sea, the castle-like five-star hotel is an imitation of a traditional village (borgo) but with luxurious add-ons. View 91 photos
An Aperol Spritz kit? Yes, please! Other apt touches included a transcontinental flight kit, vino (of course) and locally produced beauty products and confections. View 58 photos
Each guest received a personalized “passaporto” — which served as the itinierary — and robust welcome bag. A selection of Italian beverages and snacks helped attendees fuel up for the activities to come. View all 49 photos
Attendees came together to listen to some of the top industry pros speak while seated on this fabulous shabby chic furniture provided by Wedding Solution. View all 66 photos
Attendees sipped on Aperol Spritz cocktails while nibbling on a variety of snacks, including a selection of pizzas and panzerottis, lightly fried zucchini (presented in a paper cone) and raw veggies and dip. View all 97 photos
Festa Del Borgo
Surrounded by olive trees, attendees were treated to an alfresco candlelit dinner. Wooden posts served as anchors for rope, which the design team used to artfully hang wicker baskets, flowers and watering cans, thus creating a country Italian look and feel. Containers and terracotta pots of various sizes housed vibrant flowers that popped against the wooden tabletops.
Attendees rode vintage-inspired Italian bicycles to the beach where they were greeted be a team of hosts and hostesses dressed in ’40s seaside apparel. Everyone enjoyed a robust seafood spread (think grilled prawns and fish, octopus salad) while sporting Engage!16 sunnies and taking snaps with models dressed in vintage bathing suits. View all 133 photos
Old Market Break
Attendees took a break in the Italian sunshine to peruse an open-air market filled with healthy snacks, including fresh fruit (served in canning jars), freshly prepared juices and a selection of Italian cakes and pastries.
Throughout the course of Engage!16 Europe, attendees participated in destination-specific activities like picking olives at an olive oil factory, interactive cooking lessons and taking a tour in a vintage Italian car. View all 113 photos
Attendees certainly had their fair share of lively dinners throughout the course of the conference!
The Dessert Party
An entire party solely devoted to desserts is something anyone can get on board with! As if copious amounts of Italian pastries and wine wasn’t enough, the evening included an Esther Willams-like synchronized water dancing performance.
Dining amongst the olive groves is perhaps one of the most quintessential Italian experiences. Here, attendees enjoyed various antipasti, plenty of vino and live entertainment. The shabby chic decor was the perfect compliment to the countryside environs. View all 87 photos
Of course, a conference such as this wouldn’t be complete without an opulently decorated gala, complete with craft cocktails, elegantly presented passed hors d’oeuvres and various forms of lively entertainment.